Mercedes may be giving itself an advantage over the other teams during this week’s F1 tyre test by using extra sensors on their cars.
Yas Marinas will host a two-day tyre test to help the teams get a hang of the next season’s tyres and their construction.
To ensure none of the teams gets a head start, the FIA has disallowed usage of 2019 parts. The teams have to test with the same standard cars that were used in the race and cannot contain any unraced parts.
As a result, teams could not try out the 2019 design of the front wing during the test. Unlike the free practice session, the teams are also not allowed to fit any extra sensors to the car to gather aerodynamic data.
But Mercedes figured a way around this problem by fitting extra sensors to Lewis Hamilton’s car before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This way, they can continue to use the sensors during the Pirelli test since they have already been used in a race.
If you look at the Abu Dhabi race pictures of car 44, you will notice the row of five pitot tubes at the rear of the floor and ahead of the rear wheel. This may be used to capture the airspeed near the sidepod.
The rear wheel creates a lot of turbulence in this area. By using a sensor here. Mercedes may figure out a way to handle their rear tyre problems and pre-empt their development work regarding the new tyres.
Mercedes has consistently suffered from an issue with its rear tyres getting an extra load from the car. The problem had hurt both the drivers in several races this season. This masterstroke may help them resolve at least one issue with the new tyres.